There are a lot of saddened Newport area families and their kids today upon learning that the town’s favorite and definitely “go to” guy for youth sports is leaving Newport to take another job. Newport Parks and Recreation Sports Coordinator Liam Hughes is moving up the ladder in more ways than one. He’s not only moving up to become the new Parks and Recreation Department Director for the city of Sisters (near Bend), he’ll also be living 3,000 feet higher in elevation than Newport. So in addition to his sports forte’s of track, softball, soccer and basketball, he’ll be mastering the ski slopes as well. A ski area is barely a stone’s throw from Sisters downtown square.
Hughes told NewLincolnCounty he’s really enjoyed his stay here in Newport for the past five years, but that he looks forward to his new “life assignment” along the eastern crest of the Cascades. Sisters is a deeply cute town of 2,000 souls but because it’s in the midst of one of the country’s favorite year round playgrounds, it’s a lot busier than you’d expect. Liam will definitely have his hands full.
Hughes leaves behind an impressive track record of creating very successful sporting programs, says Parks and Recreation Director Jim Protiva. He said “Liam’s a winner. If there’s a need to get a sporting program going or pumped up, he doesn’t quit until it’s not only good, it’s dominant!”
Hughes also has shown the right stuff in raising money for sports programs beyond what the city can afford. Last week’s Buccaneer Rampage was a good example as is the Coast Hills Classic Mountain Bike Race. These and other special events created by Hughes raise funds for recreation fee scholarships for kids from low income families who otherwise couldn’t participate.
Protival said (in a halting voice) “Liam….will….be….missed! But we have no intention of letting him leave completely. We’ll be on the phone and email to him from time to time for tips and information about various components of successful sports programs and of all the special contacts, supporters and community “angels” he recruited to help him build our excellent youth sports programs. We intend to build on all the great things Liam has done for the community and all the kids who live here.”
Hughes told NewsLincolnCounty.com that he knows a lot of people here on the coast who vacation and recreate in the Bend/Sisters area. Highway 20, the highway that starts at the corner of Shell and Walgreens in Newport, runs right through the middle of Sisters. So, he says, “there’s no excuse for not stopping by to say hi!”
Hughes leaves for Sisters near the end of September.